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Event Encoding in a Crosslinguistic Perspective


Event Encoding in a Crosslinguistic Perspective

Talmy's work on the lexicalization of motion events draws attention to significant differences in the strategies languages use to describe such events. This work shows that languages may differ in how they distribute the semantic components of a motion event description across the syntactic constituents of the clause.  This course examines motion and other event types which show multiple encodings within and across languages.  It investigates to what extent the attested encoding options stem from the interaction of crosslinguistically applicable argument realization principles with the varying lexical and morphosyntactic resources available to individual languages and to what extent they reflect alternate conceptualizations of certain event types. Examples and case studies involve the event types described by a subset of change of state verbs, ditransitive verbs, hitting verbs, motion verbs, psych-verbs, and weather verbs.  Concomitantly, the course considers conceptual categories that find expression in languages, including affectedness, external/internal causation, motion, and scalar change.

Course Status: Open

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Second two-week Session


10:30 am-12:20 pm
10:30 am-12:20 pm




The course will be most profitable for those with some familiarity with basic semantic and syntactic concepts.